Jose Vidro homered and had three hits, helping the Montreal Expos beat host Atlanta, 5-1, last night and knock the Braves out of first place.
A night after the Expos were shut out for the 14th time this season, Montreal rebounded to beat Atlanta for only the third time in 11 games this year.
"You could play the Yankees or them, they're equally tough to beat," Braves Manager Bobby Cox. "They had good pitching. They shut us down."
Nick Johnson added two hits, including an RBI double in the eighth off Chris Reitsma, and the Expos bullpen pitched 41/3 scoreless innings.
Joe Horgan (2-0) escaped a bases-loaded jam in the sixth after he relieved Claudio Vargas, and Chad Cordero pitched the ninth.
Atlanta lost for only the fourth time in 17 games and fell one game behind Philadelphia in the NL East. J.D. Drew and Charles Thomas each had two hits, with Drew extending his hitting streak to a career-best 13 games.
Paul Byrd (2-2) allowed three runs and five hits in six innings. Montreal's John Patterson, who had been sidelined since April 27 with a strained right groin, gave up one run, two hits and four walks in 42/3 innings.
* PHILLIES 5, METS 1: Jim Thome hit his major league-leading 29th home run, and Kevin Millwood pitched three-hit ball for seven innings to lead visiting Philadelphia.
Bobby Abreu also homered and drove in two runs for the Phillies, who bounced back from an 11-inning loss in the opener of the four-game series. Thome finished with three RBI, and Jimmy Rollins stole two bases.
"He gets that average up a little bit, you're talking MVP numbers," Phillies Manager Larry Bowa said of Abreu. "This guy's done everything."
* CARDINALS 7, REDS 5: Pinch hitter Marlon Anderson hit a three-run homer in the eighth, lifting visiting St. Louis to victory.
"That will earn him a start tomorrow," St. Louis Manager Tony La Russa said. "He'll be in there somewhere."
Anderson homered off Danny Graves, the major leagues saves leader with 33, after Reggie Sanders hit a two-run single to pull St. Louis to 5-4. It was the eighth blown save in 41 opportunities for Graves (1-4).
Kiki Calero (1-0) pitched a perfect seventh inning. Jason Isringhausen pitched the ninth for his 22nd save in 26 opportunities.
* BREWERS 3, CUBS 2: Pinch hitter Brooks Kieschnick singled in the go-ahead run in the seventh, and visiting Milwaukee rallied to victory.
Victor Santos (9-3) allowed four hits and two runs in six innings to win for the seventh time in his last eight decisions.
* PIRATES 6, MARLINS 2: Kris Benson made another strong start as he apparently winds down his Pirates career, limiting Florida to two runs over 81/3 innings to lead host Pittsburgh to victory.
Benson (7-7), being eyed by a half-dozen contending teams as the July 31 deadline for trades without waivers approaches, was in little trouble after working out of a first-inning jam to help the Pirates win their eighth in a row at home.
"He's certainly turned the corner," Manager Lloyd McClendon said of Benson. "He's pitching like we always thought he could. . . . and he's not gone yet."
* PADRES 5, ASTROS 1: Phil Garner opened his tenure as manager of the Astros with a loss in Houston. Mark Loretta's three-run double backed Jake Peavy, who sent Andy Pettitte to his second straight home loss. Garner replaced Jimy Williams on Wednesday.
The Astros lost for the seventh time in nine games, dropping to 44-45 and falling under .500 for the first time since they were 1-2 on April 7.
"We're disappointed," the Astros' Jeff Bagwell said. "But if anyone thought we were gonna win 74 games in a row, that's not going to happen."